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India announces 580 tons of food on the way to Maldives

The Indian government confirmed having dispatched 580 tons of aid in the form of food to the Maldives on Sunday, to assist with meeting the country’s needs during the local outbreak of COVID19, amid the ongoing global pandemic.

Arriving onboard INS Kesari, the items are expected to dock in Maldivian ports by Tuesday.

Included in the shipment are 200 tons of parboiled rice, 140 tons of wheat flour, 80 tons of sugar, 120 tons of yellow dhal, 26 tons of onions and 14 tons of potatoes.

According to the Indian High Commission, Maldives will be the first stop for INS Kesari.

The vessel is journeying to distribute food and medicines to countries across the region and is expected to dock at Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles as well.

“This food aid is a token of friendship from the people of India to the people of the Maldives during the holy month of Ramadan”, reads the High Commission’s statement. “It is another milestone in the time-honoured and close relations between our two nations”.

Dubbed “Mission Sagar”, the food aid is part of India’s Security and Growth for All (SAGAR) doctrine of the government of India.

Highlighting that “India has been the first responder whenever the Maldives has requested assistance in emergencies”, the High Commission emphasized the regional strategy supported by the two nations to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects felt by both populations, as a key factor in facilitating the cooperative efforts.

The aid was confirmed on April 20, following a telephone conversation between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, within which discussions of bilateral cooperation in the wake of the pandemic took place.

Having delivered foodstuffs to the Maldives, the ship will take consignments of COVID-19 related essential medicines to Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles. Mauritius will also be receiving a special consignment of Ayurvedic medicines.

The shipment headed to Madagascar and Comoros includes Hydroxychloroquine tablets, which were already earlier sent to Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles.

Sunday this week, Indian Navy’s INS Jalashwa arrived at Kochi Harbour carrying a passenger load of 698 Indian nationals from the Maldives, where they were stranded, as part of Operation Samudra Setu.

Similarly, Maldives expects to greet 243 locals on Monday, arriving from 16 cities in India, where they were stranded for nearly two months following the country’s lockdown.

Per the Indian Health Ministry website, the country currently has 44,029 active cases, with 20,916 recoveries and 2,206 deaths.

The Maldives presently records 862 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 829 are active. The country has experienced 3 deaths and 30 recoveries.

Capital city Malé, one of the most densely populated places in the world, has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 since it recorded its first local transmission of the virus on April 15.

The COVID-19 outbreak in Male’ City has, notably and disproportionately, affected the expatriate population which is made up mostly of people hailing from South-East Asian nations. However, the government has since expedited its efforts to transfer expatriate workers from cramped labour quarters to safer environments and confirmed that it is working with foreign counterparts to repatriate undocumented workers as well as those wishing to return home.

On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 4.19 million people and claimed over 283,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 1.49 million people have recovered.

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Source URL: Google News

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